The Nigerian Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung has expressed sadness at the recent medical report about Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme which diagnosed him with acute leukaemia.
A sober Dalung said the latest development about the player who has been capped 10 times by the Super Eagles is disheartening and calls for urgent attention.
“When I heard about it on Thursday, I was thrown off balance. Few days ago, we were celebrating his return from the injury that ruled him out of the game against South Africa in Uyo.
“Sadly, we have been greeted with disturbing news that this young man is down with another horrible disease.”
The minister appealed to Nigerians and sports lovers across the globe to come together to give Ikeme the needed psychological support in his dark moment.
“Right now, I can’t imagine what will be going on in his head. He needs us as a people to stand in that gap and provide the psychological shoulder he needs to lean on. This is the time to show the whole world that Nigeria values her own. “
According to Dalung, apart from the medical intervention as already being put in place by his club, Ikeme will also need to stay strong and determined on his road to a steady recovery.
Dalung said it is time for Nigerians, through their prayers and goodwill messages to show that they appreciate the sacrifices made by the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C goalkeeper after longstanding captain, Vincent Enyeama retired from the national team.
In the same vein, the minister has also appealed to the Cross River State Government and Nigerians to extend a hand of fellowship to the family of the National Vice President South South of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, Eddie Bekom, whose family was involved in a gas explosion on Wednesday.
Dalung described the clarion call as a critical assignment for all Nigerians to save the SWAN member by rallying round to raise the needed N10m for treatment following the death of his wife and two-year old daughter as a result of various degrees of burns suffered.
“I appeal to good spirited Nigerians to join hands with the leadership of SWAN in raising funds for Eddie Bekom and his family.
An injury to one is an injury to all. This is the time to support the family in their darkest hour.”
The minister also joined sports lovers and other Nigerians to pray for strength for Ikeme and the Bekom family, while wishing them a quick recovery.